The timeline was extremely short:
- December 4: Found out about the program
- Dec 5: Decided to apply (surely I had missed the deadline, I thought)
- Dec 6: Submitted the application (luckily I took that Creative Writing course or I would not had enough recent writing samples)
- Dec 17: Phone interview – OFFERED A SPOT!
- Dec 18: Dug up some money to pay the acceptance fee and applied for a loan
- Dec 20: Loan approved, ordered books for classes; have moments of shock and horror (what have I done?) which turned to happiness and hope
I start January 13!
Been Resisting my Nature
I sent myself an email a year ago. All it said was
Make more money. Freelancing?
Admittedly, I have spent more money than earned it on these endeavors (the creative writing course, this masters…) but I have to believe I am still on the right path.
The challenge ahead of me is not that great compared to what others face every day (poverty, war, prejudice, all the nasty stuff). But if I internally acknowledge what I want to achieve during my time on this planet, it is that I want to do something memorable and leave a legacy of something amazing. I have never known—still do not know—what that could be, what it will be, how to make it happen—but every time I analyze my existence and try to figure out what to do next, it usually boils down to these key driving forces:
- I need to work until I am (at least) 80 because there will be no pension money left coming to me from any of the countries where I have lived.
- I have no savings. But that is because I keep moving overseas and spending money on education (OK, and wine, and travel, and other stuff…you got me)
- I like writing, always have, but I keep resisting it.
What do I mean by resisting my nature? In general, I take the logical route, the one that pays the bills (currently, technical writing) instead of letting myself dream of bigger possibilities. I love movies and TV, so why is it not reasonable to imagine myself writing screenplays? There is no reason to write a novel if I like writing short stories. It is not okay to write popular fiction instead of being academically brilliant?
Why Do I Resist Myself? I am Irresistable After All
Rhetorical question, that. But here is a simple example of why I have often made particular choices over the years.
In 1986 I moved to London, England. I was only 18, with minimal job experience. On the same day I had job offers from two places, each paying the same (abysmal) salary. One job was at a bookstore, the other at an Italian deli in Soho.
The deciding factor? I got free cheese, salami, and pasta at the deli. I guess I would have got a discount on books, but you cannot eat books (unless it is an emergency, I guess).
Most of my decisions in life, why I take one path and not another, have been based on similar logic. Not always, of course, but quite often.
At this crossroad, it seems that I can finally choose both options. That is, if I become a food writer. Or maybe I will write about mental health, or maybe I will become a screenwriter, or maybe I will write about cats, or maybe…the list is endless. The future is bright again.